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Team Bad Fish headed for the briny blue again on Saturday, visions of grouper dancing in our heads....... what a gorgeous day to be out and breathing clean salt air and hanging out with the dearest of friends!

We got a bit of a late start- ah, well, the tide wasn't till the early afternoon anyway and we intended to go to our bay grouper spot first. Dale and I worked the sabikis off the dock and couldn't buy a pinfish for all the squid in the bag- but a few hundred yards down the Intracoastal she and I got into Pinfish Central, much to the delight of onlookers on the dock across from Fisherman's Corner. They cheered us on as we snagged bait after bait, and as usual I found the "huh?" critters dwelling below the boat.... This Southern Puffer couldn't resist the squid-tipped sabiki:

Puffers have thefunniest "expression" I think...

We had a good laugh as this was not the first, nor was it the SECOND..... it was the THIRD Southern Puffer I managed to catch on the sabiki! They must have thought we were offering up the buffet line.

We made a quick runback to the Dock to pick up Ultralite Mike, andheaded out into the bay to try to catch the tide just right for the bay gag bite. The tide was there, but the fish weren't- one short gag and we decided the Gulf was much more appealing! There were birds diving as far as the eye could see in the bay, and wads of bait lighting up the bottom machine- and one other little sign of life that had hitch-hiked a ride with us:

He was sunning himself on the livewell lid, and it was a good thing he was discovered BEFORE we got up on plane, or else he'd have been selling car insurance at the bottom of the bay..... I scooted our little guest into a safe place under the gunwale where he could enjoy the ride along with the rest of the Team.

The Pass was just beautiful and the Gulf stretched out before us like a great emerald bathtub, and we were accompanied by pods of dolphins interested in the bait and in playing off our bow. Mike kept the boat steady to make sure that Dale and I could get up on the bow to shoot some photos:

We rode out just a little over 20 miles and dropped pinfish in hopes of grouper..... I had to chuckle 'cause man, I can't get away from these guys!!.:banghead Beautiful fish, but I knew that after coming up from about 90 feet that his futurewould berather less than certain....

Dale got a pinfish down, and bowed up that spinning tackle hard!!

She fought and grunted and and ooooh'ed and aaaah'ed, and strained on an already impaired elbow, when Mike adjusted the starboard chair so she could sit, and I got behind her to hold her rod butt down ("designated butt holder"- a new job in case marine biology doesn't pan out!!!LOL) while she fought-

"I SEE COLOR!!!" And a net later...

Dale caught her FIRST KEEPER AJ!!!:clap

"You mean I have to pick it up now???"

Way to go Dale! Just over 28 to the fork, and into the fish box it goes!!!

Amberjack are one of my favorites and knowing that they were down there fueled my fire and I had to get a pinfish down.

The sound of powerpro singing as the donkey of the reef digs that bighead down is music to my ears. No matter the size of the AJ, to me each one is a prize to be won!

This one had to go back- he just wouldn't put on that extra half inch in the moments I had him on deck!! The AJ's were hungry that afternoon as Dale bowed up on another one- back to the chair she went:

"You mean I gotta pick this one up TOO?!?!?"

Another keeper! Dale scores again!!:clap

They must have been getting in their last meal for the day, because the AJ bite was HOT for a while. Between being the "butt holder", I brought in 2 more that were juuuust short- and Ultralite brought one to the deck too:

Thank goodness he didn't need a "butt holder". :hotsun

Mike's fish was just shy of the fishbox as well, but still a beautiful catch and a beautiful release:

Teamwork is a great feeling, and Dale I'll hold your "butt" down any time, girl. :poke

THe AJ's shut down after giving us some cheering, grunting, giggling fun- and the Most Ambitious Grouper In the World took Dale's bait:

As the AJ bite died,more snapper showed up to feed. Dale caught a nice fish just before the sun began to fade:

We didn't want to bring up any more red snapper so we took a break and watched a beauty of a sunset and got set upfor nighttime gray snapper fishing.

Nature's paintbrush never fails to steal my breath away.

We hung out on that spot for a bit to try to chum up some grays- fish were marking on the machine, and we had some fat and tasty shrimp in the livewell, but only managed one gray caughtby Mike Potter. Several baits stolen, and a couple of red snapper :banghead:banghead later, and we decided to call it a night and head home under the stars. Dale and I starwatched for a bit and saw the comet in the clearness of the night, and after the excitement I noticed how much of a chill had set in. I don't do cold. Period. Fortunately, we'd all brought enough clothing to make the Michelin Man proud, and Mike bundled me up and let me ride the bow on beanbags so I could watch the stars all the way home.

My night time wardrobe consisted of 2 shirts, a thick hoodie sweatshirt, and a double-layer fleeced jacket with thick canvas pants. Mike had even tucked a towel around my legs to cut the wind even more.

Somewhere around the Pass I noticed that the bow floodlight had come on, and had I known what Dale was up to I'd have struck a much more flattering pose. I am all about comfort in the cold, and I think somewhere in this picture that DALE TOOK WHEN I DIDN'T KNOW :moon:moon:moon... half my cheek and the bottom of one of my eyes are visible....LOL

It was a beautiful afternoon/evening out- laughter, a good bite, a gorgeous sunset, a clear night- and Dale's first AND second keeper AJ's!!!!! Proud of ya, girl!!! Thanks again, Team Bad Fish, for one mo' time out.......:grouphug

Jim T's sworn enemy!
2,262 Posts
Awesome report and pics as always Karon. Congrats to Dale on her first keeper AJs:clap

3,262 Posts
I saw you guys heading out on Saturday. I was out on the pickins pier. I thought you guys were heading over to Mckree to visit the rest of the folks. Good job on them aj's!

Fishing Goddess
1,072 Posts
Great report as usual Karon!!! I swear it's like being there all over again.

Here's a picture I captured of Karon bowed up with her AJ.

The smile on her face says it all!!

201 Posts
I allways say you can count on catching fish when there are women on board the reel at work, and am allways happy when the bad fish fishing team can bring home dinner.....Never really like amberjack before till karon prepaired it four diff ways now I am hooked for sure.Got to admit you can allways learn new things all you have to do is try.
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